By Fred Guzman
These are desperate times in Manoa. With star quarterback Bryant Moniz out for the regular-season with a broken left leg, coach Greg McMackin must decide between senior Shane Austin and sophomore David Graves as his replacement.
It’s a decision that could determine whether Hawaii saves its season and whether the increasingly embattled McMackin saves his job.
The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for UH, which is staring at the possibility of not becoming bowl eligible.
Losing a game it had to win in order to remain relevant in the WAC football race, Hawaii suffered a 42-28 loss at Nevada last Saturday. The defeat dropped UH to 5-5 overall and 3-3 in the WAC. Hawaii needs to win seven games in order to qualify for the hometown Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.
That leaves UH needing wins in two of its remaining three games to qualify for post-season competition. Hawaii opens the key stretch against Fresno State on Saturday, followed by games against Tulane and BYU. The good news is that all three games will be played at Aloha Stadium. The bad news is that Hawaii will be without an experienced QB.
Moniz suffered he injury with 6:50 left in the first quarter. Austin struggled in a relief role, completing 17 of 38 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown. He also suffered, three picks.
This week, Austin and Graves have shared practice reps with a starting job on the line.